Avatar universal

Stress and negative HIV test

I got tested at 11.7 weeks, and the results came back negative. It has been 5 weeks since I got tested and four weeks since the results came back.

The nurse at the clinic assured me I had nothing, especially since it was protected sex and the fact that we did not have anal sex (i changed my mind at the last minute and he pulled out). She said that it was likely stress and anxiety, that "it could do horrible things to you".

The HIV test, at 3 months/90 days, was also extremely accurate - she assured me (and i've gone around multiple medical help forums asking the same question, and got the same answers)....

I guess it's possible that I started to panic two weeks after it happened, when some HIV seroconversion symptoms showed up. I had a sore throat, then there was lymph node swelling the next day, followed by headaches and nausea....these symptoms lasted for a period of 5 days. I began to really stress out, to a point that I convinced myself that I probably had HIV.

I then developed body and muscle aches, and I noticed that I was waking up earlier and earlier and that it was increasingly more difficult to fall asleep. A week after, the insomnia became severe and I did not get any real REM sleep (actually, maybe 2-3 hours a night?) for 2 weeks. It was mostly rolling around in bed and trying to rest my eyes. I had also developed some sort of crust around my eyes when I woke up. Obviously, I felt tired during the day.....I had palpitations, flushes, and chills....basically all the symptoms I listed in my previous post. I was extremely stressed out and anxious throughout this entire period about HIV....in my head, it was like an awful and cruel mindgame of "what if?" i had HIV. I also felt guilty, what my parents would think and their reaction to their only kid.....and guilty that I threw my life away. I'm not a believer of things like seeing crows means death....but seeing crows outside my window, I thought they were signs of bad things to come.....and that I was being punished for not cherishing what I had and my life.

The insomnia ended when a friend invited me to go out of town to watch a concert. At the hotel we stayed at, I slept in this incredibly comfortable bed and it was there that I had an amazing 6 hours of sleep - after two weeks of being unable to sleep. My insomnia ended there, and I was able to sleep normally from that point on.

Two weeks later, I went to get tested as mentioned above and the results came back as negative. I felt good and relieved for five days after those results came back, but the anxiety and stress slowly crept back in after those five days. I started to ponder "what if they got the tests mixed up" or "what if i'm actually positive but it is not detectable yet". The stress and anxiety isn't as bad as how it was before, but it still exists with only a few symptoms from time to time.

about three weeks ago, I went to get my blood pressure tested at one of those free blood pressure measuring machines at drug stores/supermarkets and both times the pressure came in quite high. I don't remember the other numbers, but systolic on both tries came up to around 130-135.....which is abnormally high for a person at my age (19). Is this stress/anxiety induced?

I am also unable to stare at the computer monitor for long periods of time, and I have noticed that I've got red veins in my eyes and there are more whenever my eyes are stressed (i.e. computer monitor) but it developed over the last few months of being stressed from HIV. Is that also stress induced?

As well, I have noticed that, starting about two months ago, I have been losing more hair....waking up and finding as many as 6-12 strands on my bed.....showering and seeing 50-100 strands of hair in the water (sometimes i didn't shower for periods of 3 days, freaking out whenever i see that much hair in the water). I am also losing some body hair, and around my eyebrows.  And obviously, it seems to have taken a longer for my hair to grow. I have been under an enormous amount of stress and anxiety......could this be telogen effluvium (stress related)?

With that said, the hair loss problem doesn't seem to be as bad right now and seems to be diminishing.

I went back to the clinic three weeks ago, and another nurse who attended me told me that I didn't have anything, that the results were extremely accurate in my window period, and the "sex" we had was extremely low risk since it was protected. She also double checked the test results on the computer and they were correct.

Note that this was my first time having sex, and it wasn't exactly the person I wanted to do it with.....but lesson learnt, and if i'm really negative then this experience may have saved my life from doing stupid things in the future...I was quite ignorant about STD's previously. As well, reading stuff about HIV on the net and reading HIV forums seems to have added even more stress and anxiety.

Meanwhile, I've been doing a summer course in university and that has compounded on the stress as well. I have also failed my driving test twice in three weeks. The first time was during the two weeks of without sleep, and I got really dehydrated halfway through the test....even though I failed the driving test in the first 30 secs by driving onto the curb and nearly hitting a pole (HIV was in my mind the whole time during the test). I had also been very moody that morning, and had an argument with my driving instructor before the exam. The second time I failed it, it happened when I drifted off and was paying attention to traffic lights.

I really need to get rid of this stress and anxiety as school has just begun. The only symptoms of stress I have now are what's left of that hair loss symptom, occasional lymph node swelling, and neck stiffening....which often needs cracking. As well, could some of these symptoms be caused by very poor posture while sitting in front of the computer? I seem to have developed a poor posture during these past few months of stress.

I know this is a very long and cluttered post.....I will appreciate any advice you can give me, and please if you can answer my questions. Thank you.
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Avatar universal

i do know where you're coming from.

i still freak myself out from time to time but i've found its better to NOT try and deceive yourself. believe your testing.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
been there....i'm a straight heterosexual male who was drugged and raped. i was out at a bar drinking and i lost sight of my drink for probably 30 seconds.

i too gave myself a bunch of symptoms. the stress has caused my psoriasis to break out on some new parts of my body. STRESS IS REAL. STRESS DOES EFFECT YOUR BODY IN SERIOUS WAYS.

i tested negative at 9 weeks....Do you have any idea how reassuring that is SUPPOSED to be? I was so happy and then I got on the internet again and got into the vicious cycle of trying to convince myself the test was wrong and that coffee i finished 10 minutes before the test effected my result and so on...

you need to stop....you've tested negative way longer than i have. i know what you're going through---AND IT'S NOT REAL. Believe in your testing.

good luck.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I wish I could give you sme advice but I can't cause to be honest I read your post and thought you were me!!! I have had basically the all the same things wrong with me that you have and I got tested at 3 months and was told I was negative...but I didn't believe it. I went to see a therapist b/c I thought I was lossing my mind and it is stress and anxiety. Did you think about getting tested again, That might ease your mind. I have been thinking about it b/c I am reaching my 6 month point and I feel that it is nescessary in order for me to ease my crazy mind. Oh...and your hair falling out, Mine is too and my hair has never fallen out before...it is scarey. I say to myself if it keeps falling im not going to have any hair left on my head by the end of the mont. The key is to stop stressing and worrying b/c everything will be ok. You had protected sex( I didn't)...which is sooo low risk. Being that you are young I can tell you to continue to have protected sex and you will be absolutely fine. Have a good day and try to stop worrying.
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